Neti Pots: Weird or Wonderful?

I am cross-posting this from my "other blog".  Just because I think more people need to learn about neti pots, as well as being a part of my experiment.

Most people these days have at least heard of a neti pot. I learned about these strange devices at yoga teacher training. Basically, it’s a tiny, adorable teapot that you fill with lukewarm water and a little non-iodized salt to clean your sinuses with. I know, right? Sounds weird and terrifying.

I considered getting one right away and trying it out (I think being in yoga teacher training automatically makes you game for trying new things), but since trying neti pot meant going out and buying things first, I never got around to it. Well, I’m here today to announce that a post on the online women’s magazine The Hairpin has inspired me to give the neti pot another level of consideration.

A snippet of their blog post:
So what exactly is a neti pot? It is a cute little pitcher that’s usually shaped like what I imagine a genie’s lamp looks like. You fill it with salt water, and then pour the water into one nostril, which is easier and less terrifying than it sounds. Gravity then pulls the water through your sinuses and it comes pouring out of your other nostril, along with a bunch of goop it’s collected along the way. Yes, it may sound a little unpleasant, but I promise it doesn’t hurt, and once you get the hang of it, it actually feels good! It’s a practice that has been used for centuries in India and has become ever more popular in the United States. (Dr. Oz even talked about it on Oprah, so you know it’s legit.)

Why would you want to flush your sinuses out with salt water? Lots of reasons: it helps clear congestion during a cold (and can make them go away faster), it can prevent and treat sinus infections, reduce allergies, help you breathe more easily, and just generally keep your respiratory system in better health. Neti pots work because they remove the dirt and bacteria and the dried mucousy clumps which like to hang out in your precious nasal caves and cause problems. The water can reach places you can’t get clear simply by blowing your nose or reaching in with your finger (which you would never do, of course). So even if the idea of pouring water into your sinuses sounds icky, just remind yourself that tiny bacteria making a nice home in your face is even ickier. Hey, you clean your mouth and your ears out, why not treat your sinuses with the same respect?
This external validation of the neti pot has inspired me to give it another go. So this is my promise to you: I will try the neti pot and give you a report from the front lines.


  1. I own one...In case the ratio of grossed out by borrowing someone else's vs. buying one for yourself when you are unsure of it leans in that direction.

  2. Hmmm... that is tempting. After all, it's not like you stick the pot inside your nose or anything. Well, you kind of do, but that can be cleaned...